By Chinmayee Dash: Author Stephen Tankel’s book ‘Storming the World Stage’ provides the detailed accounts of one of the active terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is the biggest threat to India.
Whether it is the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993 or the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the LeT was the mastermind carrying out both the attacks in India. Only 10 trained members of LeT had taken South Mumbai by storm in 2008 and it inspired them to move forward.
The book ‘Storming the World Stage’ (The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba) describes how the organisation was groomed and supported by Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which always denied to have links with any terrorist group.
The LeT is considered to be the most powerful weapon of the ISI in its proxy war against India since 1990s.
Tankel analyzed how the Pakistani government during the regime of Pervez Musharraf divided its militants into good and bad groups. The outfits, which followed the line of the ISI were known as good and the rest of the groups were considered as rebels. The LeT with the ISI backing, became the blue-eyed boy for the country.
The organisation was funded by Muslim members involved in Indian crime. India’s most wanted underworld don Dawood Ibrahim backed the outfit to carry out more attacks in the country. The don had fled to Karachi after 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
The author said that many criminals in India are still connected to the LeT and they remain unexposed. Many terrorist networks in India such as Indian Mujahideen (IM), Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Kashmir Resistance Force and the United Jihad Council have also close links with the LeT.
Tankel has also explored the relationship and strong bonding between Al Qaeda and LeT. LeT became more active when Al Qaeda was targeted by the US after the 9/11 attacks. Even Pakistan government had pretended to help the US in hunting Al Qaeda members down.
Al Qaeda expanded its networks across India and the US because of its strong ties with the ISI and LeT. The relationship between two outfits was best noticed when Al Qaeda operatives fled across the border of Afghanistan along with other Arab Jihadis and Taliban after 9/11 attacks, they took shelter in Pakistan where LeT had strong network. It helped the Jihadis in providing safe hideouts, passports and forged documents.
The organisation, which runs various Islamic schools, training centres and mosques, believes in spreading terror across the globe in the name of Islam. The author says that LeT aims to establish Islamic rule in the subcontinent destroying Hindu people and those who are helping Hindus. It also aims to bring down the US and Israel.
Author: Stephen Tankel
Publisher: Hachette India
Price: Rs 550